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Chinese Dumpling (Jiaozi) Filling – Pork

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This recipe is a basic pork filling for Chinese dumplings. See notes for suggested variations. If you make up your own variation, please share it in the comments below! This recipe is enough for  about 3-3½ dozen dumplings.

Active Time: 10-15 minutes

Total Time: 30-35 minutes

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Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground pork | 454g
  • 8 large napa (or Chinese) cabbage leaves | ~200g
  • 4 scallion | ~115g
  • 2 tablespoons neutral oil
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger | ~12g
  • ¼ teaspoon Chinese 5-spice powder
  • ½ cup of loosely packed minced cilantro
  • 1½ teaspoons Chinese shaoxing wine
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon + ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup water or chicken broth

Instructions

  1. Chop the cabbage. Mince the white part into small dice and cut the leafy parts into thin strips no longer than 2 inches. Place in a bowl and add ½ teaspoon of salt. Mix to coat the cabbage and set aside.
  2. In a large heat-proof bowl, combine scallions, minced ginger, Chinese 5-spice powder, and minced cilantro.
  3. Heat oil until a bamboo chopstick or skewer bubbles when inserted, ~325°F/~160°C. When it reaches temperature, pour oil over aromatics.
  4. Add ground pork, Shaoxing wine, soy sauce, and salt to the bowl.
  5. Combine the ingredients thoroughly. Stir in one direction for about 30-45 seconds until the mixture becomes paste-like.
  6. Add water or broth and continue stirring in the same direction until absorbed and the mixture is cohesive.
  7. Cover and refrigerate the mixture while the cabbage continues to wilt.
  8. After 20 minutes, squeeze out excess water from the cabbage and add it to the filling. Mix for an additional 15-30 seconds in the same direction.

Notes:

  1. There are three basic methods for cooking dumplings, it each method has a recommended (but not required) style of dough preparation. Here are a set of instructions for all 3 ways to cook dumplings!
  2. Dumpling fillings vary wildly from recipe to recipe, region to region, and from one type to another. Feel free to try using a different ground meat or a mix of ground meats. It is common to have a 2:1 ratio ground pork and shrimp (chopped into small pieces or even into a paste). Remember if you add shrimp or another ground meat without decreasing the amount of ground pork, then your total filling recipe will make more than the 3-3½ dozen dumplings.
  3. If you want more texture, try adding diced bamboo shoot or water chestnuts.
  4. Other common additions include rehydrated and minced black mushrooms (aka shiitake) or rehydrated and minced dried shrimp.

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